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Spain flies in tsunami aid relief

By CNN Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman

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MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- The Spanish Cabinet on Thursday approved a $68 million (50 million euro) line of credit for emergency aid to countries affected by the tsunami tragedy, the government announced after the body's weekly meeting.

Approval of the line of credit, with favorable terms that include long periods of repayment and low interest, had been expected. It was first made public late Wednesday, pending Cabinet approval.

The government was also preparing to send two more planes with humanitarian aid to the region Friday, to Indonesia and Thailand, a foreign ministry spokesman said.

The first Spanish plane carrying aid went to Sri Lanka, and after unloading there on Wednesday it flew to Thailand to repatriate Spaniards. That plane was due to return to the Torrejon air force base in Madrid early Friday.

Other Spanish survivors of the tsunamis returned Thursday aboard a commercial airline from Thailand.

The government said 11 Spaniards were missing in Thailand. One person initially listed as missing there was contacted, the foreign ministry said, and two members of a family feared missing in India were also located.

In Portugal, the government on Thursday announced $10.8 million (8 million euros) in aid to victims of the tragedy in Asia, the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement.

Portugal on Wednesday sent a plane with relief supplies to Sri Lanka and the government said a second plane with humanitarian aid would be sent, this time to Indonesia.

Portugal said it still had 22 citizens unaccounted for since it had made contact with just 208 out of the total 230 Portuguese thought to be in the region. But only eight Portuguese were listed as missing.

Three Portuguese remain hospitalized in Thailand, the Foreign Ministry said.


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